As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Lost time is never found again.” Every minute counts - particularly for those aware of how quickly the clock ticks and time passes. Contrary to what many may think, the most vital resource each of us has isn’t money, fame, or success. It’s quite simply time. To help you maximize and improve the time you have, we’ve created a list of the Top 10 Things You Need To Do Now.
1. Find Your Passion
A life lived without a passion based in the joy of living is dull, tiresome, and tedious. If you feel that every day is much like the life cycle of laundry, with the monotonous wash - rinse - repeat, it’s time to make some changes. Especially since, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.” If you don’t know where your passion lies, dig through your past and remember what you wanted to be as a child. If that inspire you, consider what you enjoy most about your present and wish you had more time to do. Then do it as often as you can.
2. Buy Local
Today’s supermarkets are stocked with high calorie and low quality foods. These foods are great for sacrificing health, wasting energy resources, and adding to the burdens plaguing economies on the small and large scale. Genetic diversity, higher quality nutrition, support of local farmers, food security, and decreased risk of food contamination are all great reasons to stock your cupboards and fridge with products local producers offer.
3. Go Solar
The sun is naturally an energy resource. Tapping into its power can be expensive but worthy. If you can’t afford solar energy grids, try starting small. Investing $20 to $40 for a 6 pack of solar garden lights from your garden can work double time if placed within glass jars indoors during the evening. Devising means of reducing energy costs by switching to alternatives will not only help the earth but also help you.
4. Avoid Bleach
Chlorine bleach is bad for people. In the short term, it triggers asthma, causes nasal and eye irritation, kills off the good germs, and releases harmful fumes into the air. In fact, exposure to 430 ppm of airborne bleach for 30 minutes can kill someone. Long term effects of exposure to chlorine bleach can adversely affect all organs in the human body - including increased risk of lung disease, tooth corrosion, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory problems.
5. Get A Will
Unless you’d like a court to determine who gets your assets, you need to call your lawyer immediately and get a will. A will also designates a beneficiary for any retirement, pension, and life insurance plans to ensure your assets are distributed as you want them to be. A will can be amended at any time and should be periodically reviewed to accommodate any marital or life changes. If you have children and loved ones, it’s especially important to have a will because a will lists who is responsible for guardianship in the event of your death. A basic will costs around $100 dollars and is a valuable way to protect not only your belongings but also the people you care for.
6. Give Away Your Stuff
One of the best quotes from any movie in reference to possessions comes from Fight Club: “The things you own end up owning you.” Rather than be a slave to clutter, clothes, shoes, gadgets, gear, devices, and, as every parent knows, toys, why not donate them? Life reminds us all that there is always someone less fortunate than us. Give the things you don’t love, need, or want away. You’ll be more grateful for the things you do have.
Being well read is good for you, expands horizons, opens doors to worlds beyond the physical, and builds your brain power. Plus scientists have found that reading decreases stress, improves critical thinking, expands your vocabulary, enhances your writing skills, and may even help you land or impress a date (provided you happen to be in a library at the same time he or she is.) Reading is relatively inexpensive or free entertainment that has only positive effects - something that many of your other hobbies can’t do for you.
8. Save Money
Whether it’s your pocket change, increasing the percentage of your 401K, or hoarding away millions, the time to fatten your piggy bank and stash away as much as you can is most likely long overdue. The number one secret of the world’s most wealthiest people is their ability to habitually save. That’s it. Start small and work up. Take steps to reduce and eliminate debt then transfer the money to your savings account. From there, build your portfolio and make sound investments. You’ll have only yourself to thank.
9. Repay Kindness
Confucius’ wise words “there is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life - reciprocity” hold true. The kindness you put forth returns to you in some form and the kindness others bestow upon you can be repaid in a number of ways. Expressing sincere appreciation is essential in expressing your gratitude to people who help you. A simple thank you note, the ability to remain open to the obligation of returning the favor when the opportunity arises, and even a small, highly thoughtful and personal token of appreciation in the form of a gift are great ways to give back to people who have made a difference in your life.
10. Be Thankful
Every experience, no matter how good or how terrible, gives each of us a reason to grow. Reminding yourself that things could always be worse gets us through the worst of times. Training your mind to operate in a constant state of thankfulness will help you become a happier, more fulfilled person. There is always something that anyone can find to be deserving of gratitude. Keeping thoughts positive and held in the spirit of thankfulness will improve the quality of your own life and also the lives of everyone you encounter.